FACTS about that Heritage Management Plan; CIP Grant recommendations; bottle bin is open! – and, ‘masks for all.’
Rossland Regular City Council Meeting, May 4, 2020 – by webcast
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Stewart Spooner, Chris Bowman, Janice Nightingale, Andy Morel, Dirk Lewis. Staff members present included CAO Bryan Teasdale, CFO Elma Hamming, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Año Nuevo, Special Projects Manager Darrin Albo, and Recreation Manager Kristi Calder.
Public Input Period:
No one raised their electronic “hands” to speak.
City of Rossland Heritage Management Plan Consultants Denise Cook of Denise Cook Design, and James Burton of Birmingham & Wood Architects and Design, provided a comprehensive presentation on the proposed plan, developed with the assistance of a steering committee, Museum personnel, Tourism Rossland, City staff, and a variety of interested residents. The plan, if adopted, will be used as a guide for City staff and Council members to consider as Rossland develops.
NOTE: a news report has appeared in other publications which inaccurately represents the current effects of the plan.
Council passed a series of four motions, unanimously adopting the following bylaws:
City of Rossland Financial Plan 2020 – 2024 Bylaw No. 2722, Municipal Tax Rate Bylaw No. 2724, 2020, Red Mountain Specified Area Bylaw No. 2725, 2020 , and Ophir Reservoir Local Area Service Parcel Tax Bylaw No. 2726, 2020.
Staff Reports and Updates: CIP Grant recommendations:
A motion to recommend to the RDKB board of directors the following funding allocations for the 2020 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiative Grant Program CARRIED unanimously:
Did not vote
(The) Rossland Gold Fever Follies
BC SPCA West Kootenay and District Branch
Bee Awareness Society
Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club Society (Signage/Map update)
Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club Society (Skis for Skier Development)
Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society
Friends of the Rossland Range Society (FoRRS)
Greater Trail Area Creative Activities Centre Society for the Visual Arts
Greater Trail Hospice Society
Health Arts Society
Horse Association Central Kootenay
Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital & Health Foundation
Kootenay Brain Injury Association
Kootenay Carshare Cooperative
Kootenay Columbia Educational Heritage Society
Kootenay Columbia Trails Society
Red Mountain Racer Society
Rossland Council for Arts and Culture
Rossland Fall Fair Core Group
Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association
Rossland Society for Environmental Action
Scouts Canada-Camp Tweedsmuir
Societa Mutuo Soccorso Cristoforo Colombo
Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation
The Canadian Red Cross Society
Trail Alliance Church
Trail and District Community Arts Council
Trail and District Senior Citizens’ Villa Society
Trail Gymnastics Society (Clean it Up)
Trail Gymnastics Society (Launch & Land)
Trail Pipe Band
United Way of Trail & District
West Kootenay Boundary (WKB) Caregiver Support Program,
subsidiary of Nelson and District Hospice Society (NDHS)
West Kootenay Community EcoSociety
(Old Growth Forest Environmental Education)
West Kootenay Community EcoSociety
(Regional Municipal Pathway)
West Kootenay Timberwolves Lacrosse Society
Rossland Pool Summer 2020 Update:
Spooner proposed a motion to plan toward a July 1 opening of the pool, subject to public health pronouncements. Lewis agreed that it would be nice, but was concerned about a “warm, moist environment.” Calder explained that research has shown no COVID-19 transmission in chlorinated water, so extra attention would be paid to sanitizing surfaces in the other pool areas. She responded to a question about the cost of operation for operating for two months instead of three, by explaining that there is too much that is unknown about the prospective usage this season. Morel wanted to know how long it takes to get the pool filled, heated and ready to use; Albo said a total of two weeks or less.
The motion to plan for a July 1 pool opening, subject to public health restrictions, CARRIED.
Official Community Plan (OCP) Steering Committee Terms of Reference:
Council discussed a motion to approve the ToRs as presented. Lewis commented on the provision that the Council would not be bound by its recommendations; Lightbourne agreed that Councils cannot be bound by any advisory group – Council is the elected and accountable body, and must be the decision-maker. Moore confirmed that the group could seek input from anyone in the community. Lewis expressed a strong preference for having members of the committee who are residents, rather than absentee property-owners. Council agreed to have two councillors plus the mayor as non-voting members except if needed for tie-breaking.
The motion to approve the ToRs CARRIED unanimously.
Heritage Management Plan:
Council discussed the Heritage Management Plan as presented by the delegation.
Lewis questioned the statement in the plan about a commitment from Council for “consistent annual funding and human resources;” Teasdale estimated that it would require an additional $10,000 to $20,000 annually for the next few years to provide what the plan calls for. Spooner commented that the document was fascinating, but that he “fundamentally disagrees that heritage is the primary principle in development.” Moore stated that Council can take what it wants from the plan, but isn’t bound by anything in the plan; that “we still control the horse.” Spooner expressed hesitancy about accepting the plan, if the City is not actually planning to follow it. He stated that there are many specific things in the plan that he disagrees with.
Lightbourne explained that, for example, the Sustainability Commission uses a number of plans, but neither the SC nor the City is committed to doing everything in all of those plans. “It’s up to the Council of the day to do what they can and want to do.” Spooner stated that he thought the OCP is the plan to determine how much emphasis the City places on heritage.
A motion to accept the plan as presented as a guide for sustaining Rossland’s heritage CARRIED with only Spooner opposed.
At this time, Council has made no decisions about implementing any part(s) of the Heritage Management Plan.
Council reviewed and discussed the annual Recreation Cost Recovery Report for 2019, a nine-page set of documents showing the revenues, expenses, grants to community groups, capital and cost recovery ratios by facility, with explanations for some of the changes and fluctuations. Moore expressed appreciation for the report.
Lewis proposed a motion “to use reserves and any realized operational savings to create a Rossland Recovery and Assistance Fund, for the purposes of recovery and targeted assistance efforts and to resolve emerging community issues due to Covid-19.”
Lewis referred to earlier discussions regarding taxation and budgeting, about having funds available to help with needs arising in the community from COVID-19 to help those who really need it, rather than a small benefit to everyone regardless of need (such as refraining from the planned tax increase, which would have cost the City a lot and would hardly benefit anyone who needs help).
Moore said she has been having conversations with other local organizations; funds could possibly go to non-profits that can provide help to local people. Council is bound by legislation on how it can and cannot provide assistance.
The motion CARRIED unanimously.
Council also reviewed the updated Task List, then moved on to Member Reports.
Nightingale announced that the bottle bin behind RSS has opened – “if anyone needs to get the evidence out of their house …”
Morel has attended RDKB meetings, and promised to have a report ready next week.
Moore commented that the Provincial government is being very good about keeping municipalities informed and involved. She spoke about the “Masks for all” initiative– volunteers have been sewing masks and giving them away; for more detail, see this video:
The meeting adjourned at 8:32 pm, and your reporter sent off a series of emails to confirm details from the meeting, then sat up far too late reading escapist fiction as a winding-down ploy. It was fiction from a box of books borrowed from a generous neighbour – it’s evident that the neighbour sent a selection of novels all of which feature exotic viruses or pandemics.